05 May 2010

The frog and the caterpillar

Last Sunday while I was walking in the woods, this large frog hopped once to get out of my way and then froze. As long as it was not moving, its well camouflaged body was almost unnoticeable against the leaf litter. But then something moved. Something small and green. I looked carefully and saw a little geometrid caterpillar crawling on the frog’s head.

As I took pictures, the caterpillar kept on crawling on the frog’s body until it got down to its leg and eventually left it for a nearby leaf.

Meanwhile, I had gotten uncomfortably close to the frog making it hop once again. But this time it got itself cornered inside a cavity among the roots of the nearby tree.

All I had to do was reach in and grab it. Afterwards, it sat calmly in my palm; I didn’t even have to restrain it. I believe it’s an eastern American toad (Bufo americanus).


Cindy said...

Nice find! I'm a little surprised that the toad didn't (a) snap up that caterpillar when it was right on its mouth, or (b) pee in your hand.


Yes, it was curious that the frog ignored the caterpillar.